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Ten Step Plan for Selecting HRIS or HRMS Software Posted By : Clay C. Scroggin

Monday, September 1, 2008
Posted by Natali on August 5th, 2008 filed in Computers

 

Ten steps to making a wise HRIS, HRMS or HR software purchasing decision
This HR system, HRIS or HRMS pick information is based directly on my more than fifteen years of experience as a Human Resources software value added reseller. Between me and others who work for my firm, we have sold, implemented and supported hundreds of HR software application installs. Over those years, I have seen people do a great job of selecting an HRIS application and I have seen the result when a poor decision is made. If you come the steps I laid out, I won?t assurance a happy HRIS, HRMS or HR system purchase decision, of course, but I assure you it will help tremendously. At the self-same least, you now have a quarry scheme.
For many of the steps associated with the process of selecting an HRIS turning upon particulars, I directly suggest using CompareHRIS.com in spite of assistance. We created the web site with these ten steps in thinking principle. Most of the functionality of our site won?t be found anywhere else. That, of course, is for what cause we created CompareHRIS.com in the first place.
The Ten Steps to making a wise HRIS, HRMS or HR Software purchasing Decision
1. Improve your HR Software IQ
2. Determine your HR Software Needs
3. Create a detailed HR Software requirements spreadsheet
4. Determine your HR Software assortment
5. Pick four or five HR Software vendors to review
6. Evaluate the HRIS systems
7. Research each HR Software company
8. Set HR software implementation expectations and Price
9. Make your HRIS purchase Decision
10. Getting management approval for your newly come HR Software
1. Improve your HR Software IQ
Before you are able to determine what your needs are for an HR system, you need to know what type of capabilities HR software, HRIS or HRMS applications provide. Allow me to save you a great deal of adapt to the occasion by this step. Go to our HRIS Selector Tool and proceed through the questions. These questions are based on perhaps the most comprehensive list of options and features available for today?s HRIS applications. Under many of the questions we have included subsets of questions, as well. So make sure to look at all when doing your research. We initially created a comprehensive list for HRIS options and features based on what prospects indicated to us were most important to fill their HR system needs. After adding the numerous HR software vendors to our site, we asked those HRIS vendors to review our questions and add adscititious questions kindred to features and options that were unique to their HR systems. Run through the examine and I assure you that you bequeath be far more knowledgeable about the options available than you are at once. If you necessity to see a short list of features and options that are available, access our products page and you will see a list of core features we have identified through which users may pass through a strainer HR products. Below, we provide additional basic detail in continuance the HRIS options that are available and what system capabilities they typically contain.
Common HRIS Software Features and Options
? Employee Database - An employee database or HR database is the one common feature with all HRIS, HRMS or HR software applications. They may be unlike steady options and features they provide but entirely have some model of base employee database from which to start. The employee database will likely contain fields for greatest part of the information you be seized of in an employee file. However, by that HRIS data heart contained not more than a database, you will have the ability to advertise and manipulate the data.
? Payroll - Many of today?s HRIS, HRMS and HR software applications offer payroll as an option. The companies who offer a payroll system can pitch the benefits of a fully integrated package. The largest benefit of this option is that all of both the HR and Payroll data is contained in a single system. Therefore, double input or the transfer of data does not exist. The HRIS or HR software packages that don?t offer payroll usually offer a multiplicity of interfaces to provide the capability of importing or exporting given conditions to a third troop payroll option. If you don?t plan on changing out your payroll application, this might be the superlatively good bet. Make sure the vendor you pitch upon either offers a payroll option or is able to provide an interface to your existing payroll appeal.
? Attendance - Manually tracking attendance and accruals is a wasteful span consuming process for those HR departments who don?t have the advantages of an automated HRIS or HRMS system. Attendance systems determination typically track accruals and provide automatic increases to accrual rates based on seniority. If you don?t receive an integrated payroll application and/or an integrated time collection hypothesis, you may not be able to track accrual rates if the levels are based on hours worked as opposed to time of service.
? Time Collection - In the past, most of the HRIS, HRMS and HR software vendors did not occur time collection systems. They usually worked with 3rd parties and interfaces to be of importance to premises into their system. Over the last few years, a number of HRIS software companies have started to create their own integrated applications for tracking time records concerning payroll. There are a variety of ways time data can be collected. The easiest is a simple online employee time sheet. The employee simply inputs the hours they worked and submits the information. Some web based systems act the same as a interval clock where employees log in, clock in for the day, out for lunch and so on. The third election may involve the positive use of material time clocks which integrate to a software application and to your HR and Payroll applications.
? Training Management - Most, if not all, HRIS, HRMS or HR software applications provide the ability to track basic training data such as when someone took a class and at what time they are due to take it again. Certain industries are responsible for tracking far more training than others. Those that are in health care and manufacturing, for example, typically not only have to track when an employee got trained and must be retrained but also how many CEU?s or credits they need to achieve certification or program requirements. They may also have to track training required by Job Title. A few systems on the market will integrate training management system options by any ESS system. In this put in a box, employees may be able to view training details or enroll in classes online.
? Recruiting - Recruiting solutions bear come a long way. Many of the online recruiting options offer the efficacy to link data to your web site. With this option, prospective applicants can apply for positions directly on your company textile fabric site. The advantage is that all of this data is contained in a data base that can be searched to determine who the most fit candidate is. A few systems take the process a step further by offering Applicant self service where the petitioner can setup a profile and actually counsellor their stage of the hiring advance.
? ESS - Employee Self Service systems provide employees or managers with the ability to access and, if approved, change data related to themselves or their employees online or through a company intranet. The advantages of these systems are obvious. Managers and employees have the ability to look up important minor circumstances on their employees independently of having to contact HR. This data may include simple demographic detail or include more inclusive, time collection, training, attendance, performance management, succession cunning practice and/or payroll denunciation. Most systems will provide for some type of automated work flow. When an employee makes a change to data the complaint may change automatically or it may swallow through an approval process, where his overseer may approve or deny the request before HR makes the issue different final.
? Manager Self Service - A elucidation element, and sometimes a more important element, of Employee Self Service is manager self service which was touched upon above. This capability gives managers the ability to survey data and, if allowed, change data on their direct and indirect employees. As mentioned above, managers who use an ESS product with manager self office, may have the ability to change or approve changes to employee premises including demographics, time sheets, time mass, attendance, performance management, consecution planning and payroll information.
? Email Alerts - Most HR Software products now offer some type of email alert software. Here?s how these systems work. You have a large number of dates you in the same proportion that a HR professional are required to track on your employees. These items might contain birthdays, anniversary dates, survey due dates, certification dates, training due dates and more. With these alerts products, you are apt to run up self-moving emails based on these dates. For example, when a review comes up, you want to send an email to the one and the other manager and employee of the pending date.
? Benefit Administration - Most, if not altogether, HR products provide some capability of tracking employee benefit data. With this data, HR departments are quick to report on which employees have certain benefit options and what the costs are to employees and the employer for those plans. The systems I examined are a little similar on this scope. Where they differ is the tranquillity and the efficiency of setting up and adding benefit plans. Make sure the universe you select have power to directly handle the calculations associated with your benefit plans.
? Benefit Open Enrollment - Benefits Open Enrollment products are some times included through ESS applications or sold separate. In both case, they provide the basic capabilities. An HR system administrator is able to setup a wizard which guides employees through the process of enrolling for benefits. Employees will be the subject of the ability to see which benefits they are eligible for and what the beg to be paid is for each plan. With most of these systems being online, it?s a value derived that can be addressed while the employee is not at work.
? Carrier Connect - This is every HRIS feature that has become prevalent in condign the last hardly any years. With this option, HR personnel have the ability to directly transfer benefit related data directly to your benefits provider. This capability is obtained with the use of interfaces. If the HR software vendor has not worked with your particular benefits vendor, they will likely have to custom make the interface application which can be both expensive and time consuming. If you are considering this option, it?s important to see admitting that the vendor already has interfaces to your providers. And if not, what the interval and cost is to offer the option.
? Position Control - HR Systems typically track employee related data by employee. Thus, data related to training, take revenge upon, employee development, salary grade, work at jobs title and more are associated directly to the employee file. Position control systems differ in that they associate the whole of of this facts, and data related to open requisitions, to the position. For reporting capabilities, this is one important difference. Typically, the freedom from disease care persistence, government and government contractors are required to track position control premises.
? Performance Review Management and Compensation - This is becoming and more and more popular HR system option. There are few processes that are more space of time consuming and more difficult to standardize than the review process. Several of the vendors that advertise on our site offer this option. Basically, these systems automate the process and reduce the paperwork associated with reviews. Managers will score employees based on a number of user determined competencies. Based on the bill, the corpse text under the competency can be automated as with praise. During the year, goals can be established for each employee. Then, employees and managers can track the luck and progress of each goal before, during and after the review process.
? Succession Planning - With these options, managers are able to define career paths for each employee and include and track the requirements for reaching those paths. These systems may integrate directly with performance military software or with training address systems to further define the requirements for career paths.
? E Forms - This capability allows forms to be created and be favored with the fields for those forms automatically populated from data contained in your HRIS database. Between Microsoft word or be superior to and any database using the mail merge capabilities, the same thing is possible. However, several vendors have automated the process.
? Government Compliance - HR personnel typically track government compliance items that include COBRA, OSHA, FMLA, Vet?s 100 and Affirmative Action reporting. Again most, if not all, of the HRIS systems on the market offer reports for these requirements. If you require capabilities outside of this list, it would be serious to determine those who creating your needs analysis for an HR system.
? Report Generation - Any HRIS or HR software application you look at is going to offer some type of report writer and will include a large number of standard reports you can use to track information inside of your HR system. The complexity, user friendliness, and capabilities of these report writers vary tremendously. A fair amount of time should be spent taking a close look at any report writer during an HR software application you are going to consider. In order to find the best pit, you be in need of to determine the technical savvy of your HR staff and you need to determine how complex your reporting requirements are.
? Customization - At minimal, HR systems will offer user defined fields to track data not already tracked. Most HR systems will also include custom screen development. Others, which offer a very open architecture, may provide the opportunity to program customization add-on applications or automatic processes that occur based on certain actions taken in the system.
? HRIS Hosted - versus - Purchase - With HRIS, HRMS or HR systems you will agreeable be presented with one of two purchase options: hosted, a.k.a. ASP, or outright purchase. Hosted systems host your data on the internet and provide you with remote paroxysm to it. The advantage is that you need little if any IT support, upgrades are performed automatically and in case of a local emergency, your data is housed in many. This last advantage is becoming an important issue for companies who lie in the avenue of hurricanes. These systems, on this account that the cost is charged per employee per month with little up anterior require to be paid, sometimes present toward easier budget approvals than buying a system outright. The disadvantage of hosted solutions is you liquidate for the benefits outlined above. Over time, usually after a few years, you will pay more for a hosted solution than grant that you had forthwith purchased an application and housed it locally.
2. Define your HR software needs
Anything you read on selecting any software application including human resource software, HRIS, or HRMS applications is going to tell you to give the signification of your needs first; but I am going to define what this means and why it is material. You need to be highly detailed with defining your needs. The more item you put into what I consider the most important expedient of the process of selecting an HR software application, the in greater numbers likely you will make the right decision in the end.
For example, a typical company might determine their needs for an HR software application to include the following:
? Windows based
? Integrated Payroll
? Training Management
? Turnover Reports
? ESS
? Salary Grades
? Job and Pay History
? Attendance and Accrual tracking
? Report Writing
? Ease of use
This is a start otherwise than that not nearly plenty detail. According to my research, in that place are over 60 companies offering HRIS software vendors in North America. If you take this list to all of those HR software vendors, greater amount of than half are going to meet your HR software ?needs.? If you remove payroll from the invoice above, almost all of these vendors will meet your needs. Your short HR software needs list has not narrowed down your search much, that?s for sure.
When I undertook the task of creating CompareHRIS.com, I believed I had a firm grasp on the overall capabilities of HRIS applications. After 15 years of experience in the HR Software labor, I was even surprised at how similar the various systems were at first coruscate. This was actually a huge issue as we were creating our site. At first, we were not detailed enough with our HRIS Selection tool or our core product boy-servant filters to show the differences between the numerous HR systems. The result was that all, or most, of the HR software applications showed the same capabilities. Our comparison screens showed far more checks than N/A?s. A web site for HR systems that says all the HR systems on the market carry into practice the same thing is not going to provide any benefit to HR vendors or to HR professionals seeking an HR software application. We had to propound more particularize to differentiate the several HRIS applications. You will have to do the corresponding; of like kind.
In order to resolve the issue, we asked our participating HR Software, HRIS, or HRMS vendors to assist us with showing the unique features of their systems. On our products page, we expanded our core feature edge and on our compare pages, added the term third party in quest of those vendors who did not meet a certain item by means of their core product. For the HRIS selection tool, we asked participating vendors for questions and categories that would show the singular capabilities of their systems. After all of these efforts, we were able to provide a free useful office to HR professionals that showcased the unique capabilities of each participating vendor and granted HR professionals with an application that assisted with their HR software selection needs.
If you want to call into existence a more detailed HR software needs assessment, ask questions on each of the greater than items to determine the detail you need from a Human Resources use. Also, make indisputable to ask others who have a mind subsist using the application. If you join your training, payroll, or put in peril management departments, you will likely find they may have specific needs to assist you with this task. Make stable to ask those who demise be approving the obtain if there are features and options of an HRIS application that could benefit them in their jobs. Ask, as well, the sort of business objectives with which they are looking HR to assist. This will become important later which space of time you entreat for the approval. The more people you involve by your HR software needs analysis and selection process, the more likely you will be to provide a rule that meets the entire organization?s indispensably.
An example of a better needs impost might include the following:
? Windows based
o Does application want to be SQL?
o Is HR Application Vista compliant and be inclined it toil with our current network applications?
o Do you penury a hosted solution or will you purchase and install on your existing network?
? Integrated Payroll
o Do you have any special payroll requirements?
o Do you lack to betoken time records from a current time collection system or do you require to select a time system that integrates to the new payroll application?
o Will you need to export payroll data to a GL application?
o How have existence inclined you want to handle tax filing requirements?
o Do you have any difficult to handle garnishment or levy issues and does that vendor handle these items?
? Training Management
o Do I destitution to simply track training as to when an employee took a class and perhaps when they have to get retrained or do I need to track CEU?s and credits conducive to those needing a certain number to meet the requirements for a certification?
? Turnover Reports
o Are these reports standard or do they have to have being custom written and how easy or hard and comprehensive is the process.
? Job and Pay History
o How a great deal of detail do you need to track?
o Are you looking for unlimited history?
o How will you report on this information?
? Attendance and Accrual tracking
o How will this data be input?
o Will system work with our attendance plans?
? Report Writing
o Exactly what type of reports do you need?
o Create a list
? Ease of employment
o Setup time and Support
If you find an HR product that answers everything of the example HR software needs presented above, you will have made a better informed settlement than if you simply went with the first list of needs. Again, our HRIS Selector Tool can be enormously beneficial at this degree because you see a comprehensive list of make use of HR software features from which you be possible to determine most closely receive your indispensably. Once you complete the questions, you will have being presented with a ranked inventory of the products meeting your needs.
As a final note on determining your needs, allow me to suggest adding to your needs list interfaces or integration you may want for tying your existing systems to your new HR software suit. Let?s say, for example, you are looking for an integrated HR Payroll software application. If that?s the case, you may want to transfer data from the payroll system to your GL application or you may want to import leisure records from a time collection system. If you are going to equal number your HR software application to an existing payroll application, join at least an interface to your needs list between the two systems. You will furthermore want some capability for populating your data base from whatever source you can provide for the data. The alternative is manual entry.
I reliance that the amount of detail I on these terms on the subject of establishing your HR software needs list, stresses in what plight weighty this step is in the process. Whether you make a good decision or a poor one through selecting an HR application, that result will largely rest on how good a do job-work you did with determining your of necessity.
3. Create a detailed HR Software requirements spreadsheet
Now that you have a highly detailed HRIS, HRMS or HR software needs list, the nearest something to create is one Excel spreadsheet with these needs what one. you will use during your evaluation process. List the needs in a descending course the left side and across the top you resolution reckon up the unfixed vendors as you determine which you will look at. You might want to add rows for the recompense, purchase options, and implementation leisure lines and costs to further aid with keeping all the systems separate. As you evaluate each system, simply check over which meets each of your Human Resource software needs. At the period of the evaluation process you won?t have to struggle to remember which product did what. Again, take a look at our HRIS choice tool for the reason that a starting guide of the features and options that are available.
You may want to do as we have done on the production page comparisons and show which products meet a certain poverty using third plaintiff or defendant applications in adding to the core system. You may have to work with third parties to meet all your of necessity or you may select to work by only companies that provide your requirements by their base systems. The issue with meeting needs using third party applications is how tight the integration is between the systems. If the systems are not integrated, you may have to work with interfaces or double input data into reaped ground application. If a vendor offers a third party product to meet a need or requirement, make sure to ask how the two applications wish speak to each other.
Here?s an HRIS Software Requirements Spreadsheet exemplification:
Vendor A Vendor B
Integrated HR and Payroll Yes Third Party
Attendance Tracking Yes Yes
Training Management Yes No
Training requirements Yes No
Turnover Reports Yes Yes
Standard or Custom Standard Standard
Job and Pay history Unlimited Unlimited
Interfaces
To GL custom created Third Party
From Time Clock No Yes
Prices
Software
Annual Support
Implementation days
Implementation cost
Total Costs
Monthly Costs Option Cost
4. Determine your HR Software budget
Before you waste your time searching for an HRIS, HRMS or HR software application you need to determine how much you will be able to spend on a system. Over the years I have performed close to a thousand demos of HR software applications. Of those, maybe at most 30% ended up getting the approval for a system. The other 70% were often, and incorrectly, seen as a cost center by management unworthy of a large investment needed to make HR incur smoother.
If you involve other departments such as risk skill, training, and accounting in your HR selection process and list of needs, it may be possible that their budgets can add to the amount you will be able to spend for an HR software application. At the very least, involving other departments bequeath showcase how an HRIS application will meet more organizational goals.
When you determine how much you will be able to exhaust of force, include a total as thoroughly as a monthly amount. Management may be more inclined to acquire an HR software application if the payment for such is not made all at the front end of the delineate. There are a number of HR software solutions that offer hosted options. You pay so much per month per employee and they host the application on the web. I be delivered of seen the prices from the $2 to $10 per employee by means of means of month and above. If hosting is not an election, you can always lease the software for up to five years. In this case, you spread the initial payment over that time frame and at the end of the lease term only owe on annual support.
5. Pick four or five HR Software vendors to review
Now that you take defined your needs, requirements, and budget, you are ready to select the short list of HRIS, HRMS or HR software vendors to evaluate. You only poverty to evaluate those products you have the parcel for and that meet your needs and requirements. This is not an easy employment. As I mentioned before, I have personally ground there are over 60 companies HRIS software vendors just in North America. Now that?s just companies offering HRIS. If you inadequacy to tack on all HR software, outsourcing companies and companies offering add-ons, multiply the above number by 100. There are a few ways you could go about picking these companies. You can start the time consuming process of searching the web, ask fellow HR personnel, articulate with fellow SHRM members, or post for recommendations on variegated HR message boards, forums, or blogs.
The Easy way
We have an easier way and it?s why we created CompareHRIS.com. We provide visitors with a free service for assisting with this exact process. You have two options with our site, go to either the Products Page and filter the various products we have listed by common features and options or access the HRIS selection tool and course through a detailed needs analytics to arrive at a short list of products to evaluate in additional detail.
6. Time to View HR Software Demos
You will want to setup either online or on-site demos with each HR software vendor you plan on evaluating. Have your needs spreadsheet in hand and score each product on how well they meet your needs. Each vendor is going to show you where they HR software is the strongest. Where their strengths lie may, or may not, match up to your needs. Make sure that in the demo you are seeing exactly the capabilities you need or call on. You puissance want to create a brief set of questions for the vendor to provide answers to further assist you end completing your spreadsheet; since it is unlikely you will have existence able to underwood all of the needs you have identified.
7. Research each HR Software company
At this purpose, you should be delivered of arrived at a shorter list of HRIS, HRMS or HR software applications meeting your needs and requirements. If you started out viewing four or five systems, you pleasure likely have it narrowed down to two or three at this point. Price will certainly be a determining factor in your final settlement but there are other questions you should ask before considering the price.
How long have they been in business?
How many installs do they have?
I have included the answer to both of these questions on our Products Page instead of one and the other of our participating vendors. The answer to these questions goes a long direction of motion toward establishing in what state stable the vendor and the product are. I would never recommend purchasing in any degree business software persistency from any construction with a small number of years in trade and a small number of installs. You don?t know if that company will be in business a year from now or grant that they have actually had their product on the market drawn out plenty to have worked out the bugs. When you visit our Products Page, you will notice that we don?t be at transmit any products that have been in business for less than ten years or have fewer than 300 active installs.
References
Ask around at your local SHRM chapter or via on-line forums, message boards or blogs if anyone is using the product and has an opinion? You can always ask the vendor for references but they will, of course, without more be supplying you with customers who have agreed to speak with you and are pleased through the assiduity. If you are going to strive after references and plan to juxtaposition them, bring into being that the reference was index picked.
8. HR software implementation expectations and Price
When you decide on an HRIS, HRMS or HR software application, you will want to know what it?s going to cost you. The cost for software and support are all going to be fixed costs. You will know exactly what you are paying and those amounts won?t change. The only unsteady cost associated with an HRIS system install is going to be the implementation costs. Some vendors may provide fixed cost project costing moreover even these projects can run over pack if the scope of the project was not entirely defined. It is extremely important that you define the scope of the project in as much detail in the same proportion that possible.
9. Make your decision
At this point, you have become an expert in selecting an HRIS, HRMS or HR software use. You defined your needs, you selected the vendors meeting those needs and continued to shorten your list based on price, capabilities and company strength. Now it is time to make the final decision. Based on everything you have effected up to this point, and added, with your dexterous spreadsheet this is the easy part.
Let me give you a tip. Those who don?t supplicate for HR Software discounts don?t get HR Software discounts.
10. Getting management approval for your HR Software
Just when you reasoning the whole process was over, the nearest step can be the toughest for many. I reliance getting management approval ends up being your compliant task. If it?s not, meet with if the advice below helps through the operation.
Involving others in the suit
I mentioned earlier that you should involve as many people as possible in the HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process and needs assessment. When you go seeking approval, you can make a stronger case in the place of an HRIS if it?s benefiting more than only the human resource department. A product that benefits two or three departments, and current employees, offers greater value than a system that only benefits every HR department that, sadly, by multitude people companies is still seen as a cost department. If the application benefits the training department, risk management, accounting and HR departments and offers greater service to managers and employees, it has more benefit to the joint concern on the whole. It may also be possible to have those other departments hew in budget dollars for the project.
Cost justifying
There are many articles on the web relating to require to be paid justifying some HRIS, HRMS or HR software application. I have yet to find any that be sufficient a good job with the difficult process of cost justifying an HR intense study. There are infallible HR options that are easier to require to be paid justify than others. Online recruiting options, for example, may directly reduce the need to use outside recruiters or temp services. This product be favored with power to offer a direct hard require to be paid savings. Payroll is the same way. If you are paying X dollars for your existing payroll only, outsourced option and you bring it in for less and venture an HR application there is a direct savings that can be shown.
With an HR employee database, it is far besides unyielding to show hard cost savings. Yes, it will be in time for HR tremendous amounts of time but does that savings of time equate to hard cost savings? Yes, an HR ESS product will covenant greater service to managers and employees but again does it provide direct violently cost savings? It?s easy to understand the difficulty of creating an ROI statement for an HR application.
What is the value add or your HR Software?
Since we have shown it is difficult to show grievous cost savings with the implementation of an HRIS application, it is important instead to focus on the value add of the application.
This approach requires your HR department to think about business objectives, issues and problems and show how an HR application will help the overall making provide solutions to these objectives, issues and problems. How will an HR system assist the organization with doing a better job of reaching critical business objectives is the interrogatory that needs to be answered. The degree of success you have with this answer will likely lead your success or failure in gaining the approval you seek.
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